Highlights From Education Nation

Education Nation logoBy Jennifer Siaca Curry, Director of National Technical Assistance, TASC

Thanks to NBC, the New York Public Library, and dozens of enthusiastic speakers, TASC had a great week at Education Nation. Below are the key themes that emerged time and time again over the three-day summit.

1. School/Community/Parent partnerships are key.
The NYC premiere of Won’t Back Down brought with it a lot of healthy discussion about the critical role parents and community members can play in building thriving schools. Actress Maggie Gyllenhall hopes the movie highlights that all children have the right to a strong education and that parents and teachers can work together to realize that vision.

2. Strong academics must be supported with other services.
As discussed by Rich Buery of The Children’s Aid Society, Jeff Edmonson of STRIVE, and New York State Commissioner John King, supports that fortify students living in poverty are essential to successful education outcomes for all students. Health services, parent education, and emotional supports are complementary and critical. We couldn’t agree more!

3. We have to work hard and fast to meet 21st Century needs.
Business leaders agree that more opportunities for critical thinking and problem-solving, in the classroom and through apprenticeships and other applied learning settings, will help build a 21st Century workforce. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis noted that students and experienced workers alike need ongoing training to keep up with a changing economy. Former Governor Jeb Bush and others added the need to infuse technology-based learning strategies throughout the K-12 system to allow students to have more personalized learning experiences.

4. College and career readiness efforts must start early.
From philanthropists like the Kellogg Foundation and Target to psychologists and teachers, panelists agreed that early education efforts must be strengthened and scaled to support learning in the early years. As a former kindergarten teacher, NYC Chancellor Dennis Walcott echoed this sentiment and announced a new pilot in Brooklyn replicating success of the EduCare program.

Want to learn more? Check out videos from the event.